Chicago White Sox GM Rick Hahn said last offseason that it wasn’t time to celebrate after an impressive series of acquisitions. But the goal was clear, to win championships. In the weird season that was 2020, the White Sox started their journey of being serious championship contenders, but hitting coach Frank Menechino didn’t mince words earlier this week when speaking to the media.



It’s world series or bust on the South Side.

That quote led to a specific discussion during the latest episode of the Pinwheels and Ivy Podcast, as yours truly asked what type of “world series or bust” trades could the White Sox make during the next seven months. Basically before the trade deadline in 2021.

And then it got a little crazy as one of our listeners suggested the following:

Vaughn, Stiever, Kelley for Arenado

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That’s a huge overpay for Colorado Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado, but I like the boldness of the idea. I mean, if the White Sox are truly going for it, then at some point the team is probably going to have to deal one of their highly ranked prospects.

However, with $199 million left on Arenado’s deal over the next six years, the White Sox may only need to send one of their top ranked prospects to start getting things going with the Rockies. At this point, it seems like Colorado is only looking to trade away Arenado because of that big contract.

So, I don’t think the White Sox need to include Andrew Vaughn, 13th ranked prospect in baseball, and right-handed pitcher Jared Kelley, who many experts felt was the best pitcher taken in the 2020 draft.

Now, the Rockies could probably ask for a better return from any team if they also include some money in a trade. You’d think Vaughn would be at the top of many team’s list, but would you be willing to trade the right-handed hitter for Arenado?

Oh and by the way, in this scenario Yoan Moncada moves to right field. Boom, right field hole is figured out and you also get an All-Star third baseman for a guy who still hasn’t played above A-ball and a couple lower tier prospects.

OK, maybe that one was too wild, but how about a trade with the Texas Rangers. Yeah, you know what’s coming, but with a twist.

Gallo and Lynn for pick a couple pitchers

OK yeah, I cheated and didn’t name the specific pitchers going to the Rangers, but we all know it’s gotta include Dylan Cease, Now, I get the apprehension that some White Sox fans have about giving up on Cease right now, especially with a new pitching coach coming in, but we’re no longer talking just one year of Lance Lynn. You’d get Lynn, who’s only had one bad season during his entire nine-year career and has been a workhorse making at least 29 starts in seven consecutive seasons before 2020, you also get Joe Gallo hitting bombs for you at Guaranteed Rate Field.

So, you have to put Cease in this deal, or Dane Dunning, and maybe throw in Zack Burdi. Also, a point that kind of gets lost when discussing Lynn is that he’s only going to make $8 million in 2021. That by itself makes his trade value go up to go along with the fact that you can pretty much bank on a 3 WAR season from him. Oh and Gallo is still under team control for two more years.

You get a great number three starter in Lynn and replace Nomar Mazara with an all-star right fielder who just won a gold glove? Yeah, some of the guys going in this proposal will hurt, but gotta go for it eventually.

Finally, this one’s been kicked around for a few weeks.

Vaughn for Snell

OK, so there would be several more prospects added to this deal, but Andrew Vaughn would be the centerpiece going to the Tampa Bay Rays for Blake Snell.

The worry is that Vaughn goes to Tampa and becomes a stud for the next six years. But I guess it depends how far away you think the White Sox are to winning a world series.

That’s why I posed this specific scenario to one of my co-hosts, Matt, follow him on Twitter, during our podcast and that’s what if the 2021 White Sox come out hot and by the middle of July it’s clear they’re the team to beat in the AL if not all of baseball. However, they still need that one starter to go with Lucas Giolito and Dallas Keuchel to lockdown other teams in a seven-game series in the playoffs.

Oct 27, 2020; Arlington, Texas, USA; Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Blake Snell (4) pitches during the first inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers during game six of the 2020 World Series at Globe Life Field. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

At that point, you gotta call Tampa and offer Vaughn as the main piece for Snell, right? And the thing is, Snell isn’t a rental. You’ll still have him through the 2023 season.

So, any other all-in trade ideas you guys can think of?

And don’t miss the podcast. Comes out every Thursday night/Friday. 

“Sports are dumb and so much fun at the same time.” A lead writer at Sports Mockery for over five years.